Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By F. K. Bartels

10/7/2009 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

‘Do whatever he tells you’ (see Jn 2:1-5). Those were the final words of Our Lady recorded in the New Testament.

Detail of the Rosary Madonna by the Tyrolean sculptor Josef Mersa ca1905 in the parish church in: St. Ulrich in Gröden

Detail of the Rosary Madonna by the Tyrolean sculptor Josef Mersa ca1905 in the parish church in: St. Ulrich in Gröden

Highlights

By F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/7/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


GLADE PARK, Colorado (Catholic Online) - The feast dedicated to “Our Lady of the Rosary" was instituted by Pope Pius V. It was to commemorate the anniversary of the defeat of the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto on the first Sunday in October 1571. This miraculous defeat broke the back of Muslim domination of the Mediterranean and was attributed to the prayers and processions of the Rosary confraternity in Rome. The Feast was later moved to the fixed date of October 7. In fact, the entire month of October is dedicated to encouraging the praying of the Rosary and reflecting on the mysteries of the Christian faith which it memorializes.

In a few days, we will recall a miraculous event. On October 13, 1917, seventy-thousand pilgrims had found their way to Fatima as a result of the visions three children had begun receiving in the spring of 1916. The anxious crowd, bearing mixed attitudes, uncomfortably stood in ankle-deep mud; many awaited an unheard yet fathomed hope, a silent promise which had touched their craving hearts; others had arrived convinced that their lack of faith would soon be justified on finding the wet, soggy morning uneventful. This latter group would soon adopt a very different outlook on life.

Just prior to noon of that same day, the Lady "more brilliant than the sun" appeared to the three children, saying, "I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for he is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day."

Nearly nineteen centuries earlier, our Lord Jesus Christ sat at a wedding feast in Cana. The wine had run out, and, showing her constant concern for all, Our Lady simply turned to her Son and said, "They have no wine." Although Jesus responded, "My hour is not yet come," the Mother of our Lord, of course, knew her Son would listen to her, and, in a display of complete confidence, simply advised the servants to "Do whatever he tells you" (see Jn 2:1-5). Those were the final words of Our Lady recorded in the New Testament, which, unarguably, are an everlasting profession of what it means to be Christian.

Yet even before that day on which our Lord worked his fist miracle, the birth of the Rosary had, in a sense, already occurred in the Angelic Salutation, when Gabriel the Archangel said to Mary: "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you" (Lk 1:28). St. Gabriel, sensing that Mary was troubled by his message, tells her she has "found favor with God" (1:30). And, upon hearing of the wondrous, unfathomable event of which she was about to partake, the sweet Virgin responded with beautiful simplicity and obedience: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word" (1:38).

The Handmaid of the Lord, the Virgin Mother of all the faithful, whose entire life is united in perfection and holiness to the Incarnate Word's mission of Salvation, returns again and again to us, exercising her office as motherly intercessor, caring for her children, directing them always and everywhere to her Son. She says of herself: "I am the Lady of the Rosary."

The word Rosary means "crown of roses." St. Louis De Montfort calls the Rosary "the mystical rose tree of Jesus and Mary in life, death, and eternity." He tells us that reciting the Rosary produces spiritual roses which will "never wilt or die, and they will be just as exquisite thousands of years from now as they are today." In regards the worth of saying the Rosary, he professes it to be a "priceless treasure which is inspired by God" (The Secret Of The Rosary, Montfort Publications, 1954).

Pope John Paul II tells us: "The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at the heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium. . . . Through the Rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer" (Apostolic Letter On The Most Holy Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, introduction).

Our Lady of the Rosary is the image and beginning of the Church: "In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God" (LG 68; cf. 2 Pet 3:10).

Soon we will return again to that day at Fatima less than a century ago, on which Our Lady of the Rosary opened her hands: the rain ceased, clouds parted, light issued forth from her delicate palms and traveled toward the sun as if penetrating the daystar itself, transforming it into a pale disc that could be viewed without harming the eyes. Although the gathered crowd could not see Our Lady, on hearing Lucy shout, "Look at the Sun!" thousands of eyes turned their gaze toward what was a very different sun from anything they had previously known.

United in a bond of love and beauty, Our Lady of the Rosary and the Blessed Trinity reached down upon sinful humanity, leaving those present as well as future generations yet another sign of heaven’s constant plea of repentance. On that very day the dancing sun would forever be burned into the intellects of the seventy-thousand onlookers. Those who doubted, doubted no longer; those who believed shook with joy; the children’s eyes filled with tears of wonder and love as they, along with all who were present, witnessed the Miracle of the Sun.

Yet in light of all Our Lady has done, in view of all the miracles attributed to her intercession, those of Fatima, Lourdes and Guadalupe and countless others, there are still those numerous, clashing voices of dissent: there are those who are misguidedly ashamed in seeking the help of the Virgin; those who commit grave error in thinking little of the Mother of our Lord, ignoring the teaching of the Catholic Church and the many references to her in Scripture, as if she is but some unimportant figure in the reality of Salvation whose position as Mother of the faithful ought to be ignored; there are those who neglect the Rosary; there are those who purposefully ignore the Rosary; there are even those who despise the Rosary.

St. Louis De Montfort has something to say of such an unfortunate situation: "Even though God has set his seal of approval on the holy Rosary by many miracles, and in spite of the Papal Bulls that have been written approving it, there are only too many people who are against the holy Rosary today. These “freethinkers” and those who scorn religion either condemn the Rosary or they turn others away from it. . . . It is easy to see they have absorbed the poison of hell and that they are inspired by the devil – for nobody can condemn devotion to the holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy in the Catholic Faith, such as the Lord’s Prayer, the Angelic Salutation and the mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and of his holy Mother" (Ibid.).

There were "freethinkers" then as there are now; freethinking their way into the slavery of sin; making of themselves enemies of the Mother of God; forsaking the truly beautiful.

Pope Leo XIII proposed, on September 1, 1883, in his encyclical "Supremi Apostolatus Officio," that the Rosary is an effective spiritual weapon against the evils of an ill society. Rightly noting that there have been many "exceedingly great favors obtained" through the ages by the Christian peoples’ devotion to the Rosary, he tells us: "We desire that that same devotion [to the Rosary] should be offered by the whole Catholic world with the greatest earnestness to the Blessed Virgin, that by her intercession her Divine Son may be appeased and softened in the evils which afflict us" (SAO, introduction).

The diamond-hard weapon with which to combat our greatest evils – specifically the barbaric practices of legalized abortion, an "intolerable moral corruption" in which the intentional killing of our youngest children is engaged in a manner of blatant, deplorable openness, as if ending the life of the innocent is an entirely innocuous choice which people are "free" to make – is found in devoutly praying the Rosary. It is necessary that, in order to realize abortion’s defeat, the Catholic faithful, the universal Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, return all the more to the Rosary.

Pope Leo XIII continues: "It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; . . . [the Immaculate Virgin] has a favor and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church (Ibid., 2).

"This devotion, so great and so confident, to the august Queen of Heaven, has never shone forth with such brilliancy as when the militant Church of God has seemed to be endangered by the violence of heresy spread abroad, or by an intolerable moral corruption, . . . " (Ibid., 3).

It is certain that devotion to the Rosary, a powerful weapon which efficaciously destroys vice, evil and sin, is the answer to the "intolerable moral corruption" so prevalent in our secularist society.

Further, to be truly Christian is to worship as Christians ought; in the fullness of truth as whole and complete Christians. Therefore Catholics in communion with the Church necessarily include veneration to the Mother of God in their life as Christians:

Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Exhortation, "Marialis Cultus" (1974), reminds us devotion to the Virgin Mary is an integral aspect of Christian worship: "This devotion [to the Blessed Virgin Mary] fits--as we have indicated above--into the only worship that is rightly called "Christian," because it takes its origin and effectiveness from Christ, finds its complete expression in Christ, and leads through Christ in the Spirit to the Father. . . . And the increased knowledge of Mary's mission has become joyful veneration of her and adoring respect for the wise plan of God, who has placed within His family (the Church), as in every home, the figure of a Woman, who in a hidden manner and in a spirit of service watches over that family ‘and carefully looks after it until the glorious day of the Lord’" (MC, introduction).

On December 10, 1925, Our Lady with the Christ Child appeared to Lucia, who at this time was a nun at the Dorothean convent in Pontevedra, Spain. She was eighteen years old. The Christ Child first spoke, saying: "Have compassion on the heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them."

Lucy’s thoughts certainly must have cast back upon that day at Fatima, when soggy ground suddenly turned dry, when wet clothes instantly became once more warm, when the Miracle of the Sun was forever recorded in history, when the Lady "more brilliant than the sun" announced to the entire world:

"I am the Lady of the Rosary. I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and to ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for he is already too grievously offended by the sins of men. People must say the Rosary. Let them continue saying it every day."

-----

F. K. Bartels operates catholicpathways.com, and may be reached via email: bartels@catholicpathways.com. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

Image of Pope Francis coming to Philly next September!

By Catholic News Agency (News Consortium)

Lets all Pray that Pope Francis comes to visit us here in the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA  (CNA/EWTN) - Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, ... continue reading


Catholic should be a way of life, not just a Sunday thing

Image of Catholic means universal. It's time to apply that to how we live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To know the way forward, we must look to the past. As the very first chapter Ecclesiastes tells us, "there is no new thing under the sun," meaning that everything we think of as new is actually old and whatever we can imagine has been imagined, and even tried by those ... continue reading


Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope Francis meets, blesses Sudanese woman condemned to death for faith Watch

Image of Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy, but has since escaped her sentence and left Sudan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has met and blessed the Sudanese woman who was recently condemned to death for her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death in Sudan for the crime of apostasy. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has met and blessed Meriam Ibrahim at the ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


Pope Francis to visit Mafia stronghold this weekend Watch

Image of Pope Francis' stance against organized crime is seen as remarkable; the Mafia and the Catholic Church have previously been seen by many as having

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Incensed about the loss of innocent life in his immediate surroundings, Pope Francis plans to travel to the Mafia stronghold of Caserta, near Naples this weekend in an effort to set things right. The murder of three-year-old Nicola "Coco" Campolongo, a boy who ... continue reading


Pope expresses regret with exodus of Christians from Mosul Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris (CNA/EWTN News)

In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave. (CNA/EWTN News) - "They are persecuted; our brothers are ... continue reading


Your Catholic Voice Foundation delivers for Sisters of St. Joseph

Image of They're on their way, thanks to you.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An order for 350 Bibles for a Catholic school in Grenada has been shipped to the sisters free of international shipping charges, thanks to you, the readers of Catholic Online. The shipping charges stood at approximately $800, and was covered by donations. Now, Your ... continue reading


This is Ch__ch. What is missing?

Image of What's missing? You are!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What's missing from this church? You are! Are we mistaken? Show up and tell us you are already there and get your daily prayer and more for FREE as our thanks.Click here now to say you're there!Now you can share this question with your friends. Are they at church? continue reading


Unaccompanied migrant children need our help

Image of This is an image of immigrant children presently housed in conditions that would be unconstitutional for convicted felons. These children are without their families, alone and afraid and without control over their future, they are the victims of many culprits.

By Tony Magliano

Tens of thousands of children fleeing desperate conditions have entered the United States asking for help. And many more are coming. What kind of welcome is being offered to them? The answer to that question is still largely undetermined. According to Human Rights ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 3:5, 7-12
5 At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
57 My task, I have said, Yahweh, is to keep your ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-52
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:28-30
28 We are well aware that God works with those who ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 27th, 2014 Image

St. Pantaleon
July 27: St Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter